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March 23, 2008 5:13 PM

SOS rally planned

Posted by Jayda Evans

This release is from Save Our Sonics:

Save Our Sonics will hold a fan event before and during the SuperSonics vs. Trail Blazers game on Monday, March 24. The grass roots advocacy group has more than 100 adjacent tickets in the lower bowl for the game.

Save Our Sonics' members will wave signs and lead chants inside Key Arena during the game, demonstrating the characteristically strong support Seattle fans have shown the NBA for the past 41 years. Fans who want to participate can meet the Save Our Sonics crew at Ozzie's Restaurant & Bar (105 W. Mercer Street) for a pre-game strategy session from 5p.m. to 8p.m.

Save Our Sonics released the following statement:
"Seattle has been an outstanding NBA city for 41 years. Our actions at the March 24 game aim to show the city, the league and sports fans across the country what everyone will lose if the Sonics relocate to a smaller market. Seattle fans are considered among the best in the country for all three major sports, but we initially earned our raucous reputation during all those Sonics playoff runs at Seattle Center.

"We hope Seattle fans join us in full force to make Monday's game a playoff-type atmosphere inside the arena. We've also been contacted by a large group of Blazers fans that expressed support for our cause and their desire to keep the I-5 rivalry alive. The Northwest will truly be united Monday in the hope that we see many more years of on-court battles between the Sonics and Blazers. We encourage everyone to chant loudly and get our message across while complying with NBA regulations for appropriate fan conduct.

"In the critical three weeks leading up to the NBA Board of Governors vote on April 17, Sonics fans must remind the NBA and our city leaders how ingrained the Sonics are in our local culture. With Steve Ballmer's generous Key Arena remodel offer on the table, Seattle needs to come together and draw up the final play to win the Board of Governors vote and save pro basketball in our city."

Talking points

-- Seattle set NBA attendance records when more than 39,000 fans crowded the Kingdome for a game in 1979.
-- David Stern is overlooking Seattle's past efforts. Key Arena was actually designed with full NBA supervision and approval in 1994, and Stern lauded it as a model venue for the league after its construction.
-- In the four days following Steve Ballmer's announcement that he will contribute $150 million to a Key Arena/Seattle Center remodel, voters' calls to Governor Christine Gregoire's office ran 97% in favor this arena plan. The city cannot afford to pass up this opportunity to revitalize Seattle Center and keep the Sonics in town.

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